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When business flocks to MP...
Madhya Pradesh recorded an economic growth of 11 per cent last year, the highest among states. This has been built on a consistent high growth of agriculture. In the last three years agriculture grew at 18 per cent, 19 per cent and 23 per cent respectively, a record unmatched by any other state.

Prime Minister Modi flagged off the Global Investors’ Summit on 9 October organised by the Madhya Pradesh (MP) government. Modelled on the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit, the MP summit attracted the who’s who of Indian business. These included: Mukesh Ambani, Cyrus Mistry, Anil Ambani, A M Naik, Goutam Adani, Kishore Biyani, Sashi Ruia, Y C Deveshwar, Adi Godrej to name a few.  28 ambassadors and buiness delegations from 32 countries attended the three-day convention.

“The country cannot prosper unless states are empowered. Team India includes the Prime Minister and state chief ministers. Centre will stand shoulder to shoulder with all states irrespective of political affiliation to facilitate economic growth,” Modi thundered.


Highest economic growth…

Under Chief Minister Shivraj  Singh Chauhan, MP has been making spectacular progress. Long termed a BIMARU state, MP, the largest state, suffered a blow when it was bifurcated a decade ago. Chhattisgarh took large areas around Korba that accounted for rich coal and bauxite mines. And huge thermal power capacity went along with it. Chauhan has focused on economic growth with special emphasis on agriculture. The results have been impressive: the state recorded an economic growth of 11 per cent last year, the highest among states. Interestingly this has been built on a consistent high growth of agriculture and allied sectors. This also means the fruits of high economic growth would  benefit the vast rural population.  Chauhan has focused on attracting investments. This is exemplified by the leading lights of business, promising massive investments of Rs 1.8 lakh crore for setting up projects in power, cement, telecom, petroleum, mining, food processing and fertiliser industries, Rs 1.7 lakh crore by the Union government for setting up major projects in mining, steel and energy sectors and the establishment of smart cities. Significantly, MP has been working in tandem with the Union government.  Soon after the announcement of the policy of liberalisation of investments in Railways and the Defence sectors, MP came out with special schemes for these. It was among the first to announce allotment of government land for defence ammunition manufacturing units. Likewise, the state has come out with impressive plans for setting up solar power.

Land bank of 20,000 ha

In recent years  the industrial sector has been experiencing  serious difficulties of land acquisition. The land policy of the UPA government has made it much harder. In this context, MP’s building a land bank of 20,000 hectares is one of the most significant initiatives. This is paving the way for the government setting up industrial areas and IT parks and also assure investors of ready availability of land. Of special interest for new entrepreneurs is the offer of land at a fourth of the market price for companies that offer 50 per cent of total employment to local people. The announcement of the chief minister that MSME investors need to file returns only twice a year against the earlier 13, received wide acclaim. The announcement of setting up 40 incubation centres to train entrepreneurs, of a modern tool room with an investment of Rs 150 crore for training educated entrepreneurs and Rs 100 crore venture capital fund are several other interesting schemes that have received positive press. The state also helped the rural poor to open 36 lakh bank accounts under the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana.

After Gujarat,  BJP-ruled states like Rajasthan and now MP have been organising such global investors’ meets in which leading lights of business participate. With the BJP registering a spectacular victory in the recent elections in Maharashtra one can expect this state to re-emphasise its pre-eminence.

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